An Unsustainable Hustle

Got pulled over by Johnny Law the other day. It was a long time coming, our run of good luck was bound to end sometime. Unfortunately we happened to be riding extra dirty with about 80 kilos of disposable plastic bags stashed in the trunk. James and I have been bootlegging plastic bags into Travis county ever since the ban went into effect one year back.

The plastic bag hustle is a seedy game and this wasn’t our first scrape with danger. It was about 6 months ago that we first encountered the Chinese Ninja assassins sent over to shut us down. I got laughed out of the station when I tried to file a report with the police. They wouldn’t even examine the two ninja stars embedded in the rear quarter panel of the Bu.

Chairman Chang Kai Cash had won the “Bag Wars” back when California first started banning theirs a few years ago. When the smoke cleared and the blow guns fell silent, Cash emerged with total control of reusable bag manufacturing. With his empire complete, he didn’t take kindly to bootleggers squeezing in on the action.

Austin’s finest lit us up about two miles South of the Pflugerville line. I thought about punching it, letting that stroker motor breathe as we gunned it for the hill country. It was too early for any drastic moves so I pretended not to notice him, hoping to at least get the hell out of Travis County. It was when he finally hit the music that I realized I had better pull over.

I was sweating bullets as I watched him slowly saunter up to the car. He had that effortless gait that made him look like he was on skates. He greeted me with a broad Texas smile and asked for my license and proof of insurance. I was panicking bad, digging into my wallet with shaking hands, I pulled my license free and handed it over. The officer smiled kindly as he handed back my Freebirds Fanatic card and again asked for my license.

That’s when I remembered a few tips the DA had given me during our booze fueled fireside chat. I begged the officer’s forgiveness, informing him that I was a simple traveling man, a poor widow’s son heading East on urgent business. The officer looked puzzled for a moment then tipped his hat to me, flashed me a hand sign and was gone.

As we drove back into Pflugerville I could hear James breathing a sigh of relief. He looked over at me and mumbled “I’m getting too old for this shit” then he took another pull on his bottle of Motts and closed his eyes.

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